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It’s one way to boost employees’ performance and create a better place to work.

Poor mental health can affect work performance in the form of burnout, absenteeism, turnover, workplace violence and substance abuse. On the other hand, when workers have good mental health, they are better able to cope with the stresses of life, realize their own abilities, learn and work well and contribute actively to their communities.

This is why a policy to address mental health concerns in the workplace can help companies prepare for the future of work in a fast-changing world.

Understanding mental health

According to the World Health Organization, “Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in. Mental health is a basic human right. And it is crucial to personal, community and socio-economic development.”

Every year, millions of individuals suffer from some form of mental illness. In fact, Lyra Health’s 2023 State of Workforce Mental Health Report revealed that 86% of workers in the United States have experienced at least one mental health challenge over the past year.

Every employee is accountable for fostering a productive and harmonious work environment. This involves being mindful of one’s own mental health, getting appropriate assistance when necessary and being sensitive and supportive of others at work.

What a mental health policy needs to cover

By having a well-defined mental health policy, companies can promote and support employee well-being.

Such a policy should encompass guidelines on psychosocial risks, relevant training, employee assistance, confidentiality and limited disclosure.

For instance, a mental health policy needs to include relevant training to strengthen capacities, build awareness and provide opportunities for recognizing and acting early on mental health conditions at work. Also, clear guidelines on employee assistance ensure easy access to counseling services and mental health resources. Furthermore, the policy should explicitly outline cases covered in limited disclosure to maintain transparency and accountability.

If you believe your business can benefit, then download the nine-page policy for $19 at TechRepublic Premium.

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